Barra footballer, 10, makes 320-mile round trip to attend training

A 10-year-old footballer from the Outer Hebrides has been making a 320-mile round-trip to train with a mainland academy.

10-year-old Matthew Davidson has been making a 320-mile round-trip from Barra to train with Morton. Picture: PA

Matthew Davidson travels from Barra to join training sessions and matches with Greenock Morton FC’s under-11s up to twice a week.

The midfielder had only played for Castlebay Community School before being spotted at a trials session.

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A general view of Morton's Cappielow stadium. Picture: SNS Group

Head of the academy Ross Gourdie said: “He definitely has a lot of raw talent, standing out during the trial sessions.

“Matthew combines speed with an incredible control of the ball for a young lad of his age, really impressive when you consider he has just been playing school football.

“Geography is obviously a bit of an issue but we’re doing our best to help him train at home and he is still impressing us during matches every weekend.”

While his team mates train up to three times a week, Matthew has been given a special regime to get on with while at home in the Western Isles.

A general view of Morton's Cappielow stadium. Picture: SNS Group

It appears to be paying off, with the Celtic and Real Madrid fan having recently scored a hat-trick against St Mirren.

His commute has been supported by flight operator Loganair, which has been providing tickets for its service between Glasgow and Barra - famous for having a beach runway.

Greenock Morton chief executive Warren Hawke said: “In recent years we have seen a number of players, such as Rothesay’s Jim McAlister and Dunoon’s Lewis Strapp, overcome geographic challenges to become professional footballers at Greenock Morton.

“None of those were quite on the same scale as young Matthew Davidson though, who travels all the way from his home on the Isle of Barra in the Outer Hebrides to train and turn out for our academy’s under-11s side.

“That exceptional commitment is admired and supported by everyone at the club, and we would like to thank Loganair for their generous and much-valued assistance in Matthew’s efforts to fulfil his dream of becoming a future Morton star.”

The team’s under-11s regularly play against professional academies across Scotland, competing on a weekly basis.